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A judge's Paradigm is their mindset, or how they perceive a round. Not every judge fits perfectly into one paradigm or another. A judge may say that they are "Tabula Rasa," or willing to listen to anything, but draw the line at arguments they consider to be offensive. Or, a judge might be a "policymaker," but still look at the debate in an offense/defense framework like a games-playing judge.

Examples of paradigms include: